10 Types of Blog Posts & How to Use Them Effectively

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When it involves writing a weblog put up, there are a number of codecs you should use—and all of it is dependent upon the objective of your article and what your viewers is on the lookout for.

Here are some fashionable kinds of weblog posts to know, together with examples of the best way to use them:

  1. How-to guides
  2. Content hubs
  3. Expanded definition posts
  4. Listicles, aka listing posts
  5. Expanded listing posts
  6. News
  7. Data research
  8. Case research
  9. Cheat sheets and checklists
  10. Templates

A how-to put up affords a sequence of particular, chronological steps on the best way to obtain a objective. It’s usually structured like so:

Infographic showing structure of a how-to guide

For occasion, this put up is titled “How to Choose the Right Words for SEO” and exhibits you the best way to obtain that objective via a four-step course of:

  • Step 1 – Find key phrases with search visitors potential
  • Step 2 – Create content material that aligns with search intent
  • Step 3 – Ensure the key phrase has “business potential”
  • Step 4 – Make positive you possibly can rank for the key phrase

We then elaborate on every step by displaying you the best way to execute it.

In the case of the 1st step—discovering key phrases with search visitors potential—we steered utilizing key phrase analysis instruments equivalent to Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer and then elaborated on how every software works.

Excerpt of an Ahrefs article talking about GKP and Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Best practices

  • When chronicling your steps, be as particular as potential. Consider that your reader could ask, “How? Why?” after which fill these gaps to make your how-to information substantial.

A content material hub is an interlinked assortment of content material a few matter. 

Sometimes, you will have a number of weblog posts in your web site a few matter—let’s say Web optimization—however they aren’t housed in a single place. That’s the place a content material hub is available in: It’s strategically constructed to spice up your website construction for extra visitors, hyperlinks, and topical authority.

In easy phrases, a content material hub contains three components:

  1. Your hub web page – A high-level information concerning the overarching matter (e.g., Web optimization). It often contains hyperlinks to subtopics which might be generally break up into chapters.
  2. Your subpages – These are in-depth guides about components of the principle matter. Each of those guides is break up into but extra chapters.
  3. Hyperlinks – These join the subpages to your hub web page. The hub web page hyperlinks to all of the subpages, and every subpage hyperlinks again to the hub.

It could also be somewhat complicated, so let’s take the instance of our newbie’s information to Web optimization. This is our hub web page:

Hub page of beginner’s guide to SEO

We first give the reader an summary of what Web optimization is. This is adopted by six hyperlinked chapters (with descriptions for every). Clicking on every of those chapters brings you to their respective subpages.

So if we click on on chapter 1 (How Search Engines Work), the reader is taken to the subpage—which is break up into but extra chapters in an effort to simply hone in on a selected subtopic.

Subpage of "How Search Engines Work"

We’ve additionally included a hyperlink for every subpage to attach it again to our hub web page.

Link that brings user back to hub page

Best practices

  • Map out a construction to make sure your content material hub is properly organized

Example of content hub in flowchart form: "Keto Dieting" is in the middle and branches out to pictures of different fruits and vegetables

  • If you’ve got a subject in thoughts however aren’t positive the best way to construction it, observe these steps:
  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content Explorer
  2. Enter your search time period (e.g., “link building”)
  3. Look on the high outcomes to see how different web sites construction their content material hubs/guides
Content Explorer search results

3. Expanded definition posts

Expanded definition posts are considerably much like how-to guides. The distinction is they begin by specializing in the what earlier than the how—as a result of generally, you need to perceive a subject in better depth earlier than attending to the actionable bit (i.e., the how-to).

Here’s the way it’s structured:

Infographic showing structure of an expanded definition post

Our weblog put up titled “What Is a Backlink? How to Get More Backlinks” is one such instance of how this construction could be put to follow:

  • Introduction, then desk of contents—bulleted abstract of what you’ll be taught
  • [H2] Why backlinks are vital 
    • [H3] Rankings (elaborate)
    • [H3] Discoverability (elaborate)
    • [H3] Referral visitors (elaborate)
  • [H2] What makes a superb backlink? 
    • Elaborate with H3s as above
  • [H2] How to examine for backlinks 
    • Elaborate with H3s as above; add screenshots the place obligatory
  • [H2] How to get extra backlinks 
    • Elaborate with H3s as above
  • Conclusion: Your ultimate ideas

It’s pretty easy. Tell the reader what to anticipate, clarify why the subject is vital and what they’ll do with it, then supply some steps on the best way to obtain a sure objective across the matter.

Best practices

4. Listicles, aka listing posts

Listicles—often known as listing posts—usually function one tip, approach, or level per paragraph. They’re usually used for non-chronological recommendation however, generally, have a poor status as a result of many publications use the format for clickbait tales.

This BuzzFeed article precisely captures one occasion of how the format is used:

Excerpt of a BuzzFeed article titled "32 Cheap Things To Treat Yourself To Right Now"

The descriptions beneath every subheading are saved quick in order that readers can rapidly seize data in a concise method with out having to remain on a web page for too lengthy. Listicles may additionally be image-heavy.

Excerpt of an image-heavy BuzzFeed article

Despite the poor rep that listing posts could carry, they are often helpful for readers who’re on the lookout for fast solutions to sure questions—as within the case of this Search Engine Journal blog post titled “21 Web Directories You’ll Still Want to Use.” This is an efficient instance of how an Web optimization or advertising and marketing listicle ought to be written:

Excerpt of an SEJ article

Best practices

  • We advocate not utilizing sensationalist wording in your headline (like this BuzzFeed article). Instead, guarantee your headline captures precisely what the weblog put up is about.
  • You can be taught extra about the most effective practices of crafting listicles right here.

An expanded listing put up mimics the format of a listicle. The distinction is that this format is healthier suited to extra advanced subjects—so every pointer on the listing is beefed as much as higher clarify a tip or thought.

Example of expanded list post about copywriting

It’s additionally why we don’t publish all that many listing posts on the Ahrefs weblog; Web optimization is a fancy matter to unpack when in comparison with “lighter” content material, such because the “best cafes in Singapore.” 

The weblog put up you’re studying now can also be an instance of an expanded listing put up.

Best practices

  • Since expanded listing posts are lengthier than listicles, use photographs and H3s (a subsection that sits underneath your subheading) to interrupt your factors up. This very subsection is a H3.

Newsworthy weblog posts include time-sensitive data that’s related to your small business and/or trade. This contains industrywide adjustments or developments that will have an effect on your readers (or be of curiosity to them), in addition to firm or product updates.

Naturally, the piece of reports you’d wish to share must be disseminated as quickly as potential, and, ideally, earlier than different publications. This is particularly so for those who’re protecting industrywide adjustments.

For instance, let’s say Apple intends to announce the launch of its Mac Studio and Studio Display through a press launch.

That similar press launch is first shared with a number of publications and saved on embargo (i.e., to not be printed till a sure date and time). Based on the knowledge, media shops can construct a narrative and schedule the information for publication—within the case of “fastest fingers first.”

Except of Google SERP on Apple's Mac Studio

Being fast to publish a newsworthy story additionally places you in good standing along with your target market, who could over time regard your weblog as a dependable and credible supply of knowledge. To obtain this, that you must be constant in publishing correct and well timed content material. 

Best practices

  • Use the inverted triangle so your most vital data is up high
Inverted pyramid. "Need to know" at top, then "nice to know" at bottom

Data research are a good way to earn backlinks.

At Ahrefs, we’ve run greater than a good variety of knowledge research through the years—lots of which have introduced us traction on our socials.

But don’t merely cobble knowledge from a number of sources and declare it as yours. Instead, determine on what you need to first research.

One means to do that is by recreating outdated research, which you’ll find utilizing Ahrefs’ Content Explorer:

  1. In Content Explorer, enter a search time period like [industry] + “study,” [industry] + “survey,” [industry] + “research,” or [industry] + “data”
  2. Set the filter to an In title search
  3. Set the Published filter to an older date vary (e.g., 2010–2015)
  4. Sort the outcomes by referring domains
Content Explorer search results

From right here, you possibly can establish fashionable and/or outdated research to recreate and write about as weblog posts.

Best practices

  • Create graphs so readers have a concise overview of your findings

Pie chart showing 7.4% of top-ranking pages have no title tags

More Examples

Case research have a look at real-life experiments or companies which have succeeded in utilizing sure techniques or methods. They’re efficient as a result of readers are extra inclined to purchase into data when it’s backed by proof.

In this case research of fintech firm Wise, we explored 5 the explanation why its Web optimization technique is so admirable:

Except of an Ahrefs article showing five reasons why Wise's SEO strategy is good

We additionally weaved in our product—the Ahrefs toolset—the place we might.

Excerpt of an Ahrefs article talking about content optimization for featured snippets

For your case research to be efficient, it has to present the reader some “wins”—clear takeaways that they’ll apply to their enterprise. Ideally, it is best to function a enterprise that’s both well-known or has a singular sufficient promoting proposition to entice readers to click on on the weblog put up.

Best practices

  • Give readers some clear takeaways (e.g., Oatly Web optimization Case Study: 5 Lessons You Can Learn From the Oat Drink Giant and Its IPO) so that they’re extra more likely to learn your weblog put up

9. Cheat sheets and checklists

Cheat sheets and checklists are primarily the identical factor and will embrace a transparent breakdown of the steps required to succeed in a objective.

Unlike how-to guides, which can generally be ambiguous in explaining how one thing works, checklists and cheat sheets are efficient as a result of they let you know precisely what that you must obtain one thing.

Here’s a concise Web optimization guidelines we crafted for a weblog put up. We later repurposed the guidelines as a tweet:

In the above weblog put up, we shared that our Web optimization guidelines helped develop our weblog to over 640,000 month-to-month search visits. Then we shared that very same guidelines with customers earlier than going right into a breakdown of every of the weather within the cheat sheet.

Best practices

  • Arrange your checklists/cheat sheets in chronological order in order that the reader is aware of precisely the best way to attain a objective

Similar to what the identify suggests, template weblog posts embrace templates on the best way to obtain one thing—as within the case of this weblog put up on the best way to create a one-page advertising and marketing plan.

We advocate utilizing this format:

  • What is [topic]?
  • Why is [topic] vital?
  • How can I make [topic] work for me?
  • Template

You can share your template at the beginning of the article, which is what we usually do, or on the backside of the weblog put up.

Excerpt of an Ahrefs article about a one-page marketing plan

There are additionally a number of methods to let readers entry your template: We often supply it as a free, copyable template (through Google Docs), however you might determine to create a downloadable template as a substitute.

Best practices

  • Keep your template easy and arranged, with guiding questions or ideas for open-ended fields
Example of a simple and organized template

Final ideas

These templates aren’t the be-all and end-all in terms of writing a superb weblog put up.

Try to combine issues up relying on what you assume works greatest. For occasion, this information to creating Web optimization-friendly URLs begins with a step-by-step information, then appears to be like at some greatest practices in a listicle format.

It’s all about experimenting and determining what your readers need, so don’t restrict your self.

Have questions or feedback? I’d love to listen to them on Twitter

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